All are welcome. Participants of the Thursday morning Boulder JCC in-person meditation's evolving group: seated Monte Dube (L), David Bernstein (R), standing Rabbi Eva Sax-Bolder.

Mindful Returning this Holiday Season

The Boulder JCC has begun offering in-person meditation on Thursday mornings from 9 to 9:30 a.m. In these 30 minute sessions there is a short Jewish mindfulness teaching, 18 minutes of silence, several minutes for voluntary sharing, and the reciting of a healing prayer, and Kaddish. No meditation experience is necessary and all are welcome for this short and meaningful experience to start your day. Come once to check it out, or start coming weekly. No attendance taken — you can think of it is a time for you to check in with yourself.

This weeks meditation teaching was offered by David Bernstein. Here is his beautiful teaching as we move into the Jewish Holidays.

As I prepare for the High Holidays I am guided by the words of Shlomo Carlebach 

Return again 

Return again

Return to the land of your Soul.

Return to who you are

Return to what you are

Return to where you were

Born and reborn again

I find, as I think about how I engage in the process of review of my past year and anticipation of the future, I enter into the Land of my Soul.  Consumed by the challenges of everyday life it seems I lose connection with my core and proceed on autopilot. It is when I look back that I see if my actions have followed my words. Did I remain true to who I have said I want to be? 

While scholars have long discussed what the soul is about I find it is essentially my core.  My essence comprised of both what I have received from the DNA of my parents as well as my life experience.  There are times I feel very connected to who I think I am and times I am really off.  How nice it is when I know I have really done something consistent with a core value.  How challenging it is when I miss the mark. Most frustrating is when I do not even know I drifted off my desired way to do things until I realize that I have repeated what I have said I did not want to do again. 

What does it mean to “return to the land of your soul”? For me it is getting back to basics.  I take out my moral roadmap and see how close my travels since last Rosh Hashanah have been to the path I hoped to follow with regard to my activities, and my relationships along the way.  And that includes how I have treated myself.  Have I been fair or too self critical? 

Instead of being frustrated can I see myself being “born and reborn again” in continuing to work on making changes and becoming more connected to my core – my nefesh?

So, for our sit this morning I suggest we use the next 18 minutes, as we are arriving at the High Holdays, to return to the land of our YOUR soul. Think about YOUR nefesh.

Return again 

Return again

Return to the land of your Soul.

Return to who you are

Return to what you are

Return to where you were

Born and reborn again

About Lori Dube

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